Born in 1951 in the middle of the United States, Des Moines, Iowa, Bill Bryson is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24 carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generation, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around the house wearing a jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel round his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing evildoers (in his head) as The Thunderbolt Kid.
Using his old fantasy life as a springboard, Bill Bryson recreates the life of his family in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality. In a period that saw the inexorable rise of television, the opening of Disneyland, the testing of the atomic bomb, and the explosion of choice in everything from food to cars, Bill Bryson's days followed in reassuringly cosy succession, enlivened by modest triumphs and disasters.
Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, The Thunderbolt Kid is full of Bill Bryson's inimitable, pitch-perfect observations and this unabridged recording contains every single amusing anecdote and amazing fact. Nothing is left out, so you can enjoy the whole book in its entirety, read by Bill Bryson himself.
© and (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Learning about America's unofficial history, enriched with some private stories from Bill's family gave the book really authentic feeling. All this with really great narration make the book great fun.
American taboos revealed: when American men could be found naked
I enjoyed this very much, chuckled all the way through and was almost sorry when it finished. It was a bonus having the author read his own work. Thank you for sharing your childhood adventures with your reading public!
Not been American
The father, proving fathers are the same world wide
from the horse's mouth
No, styled that one could dip and out, therefore, prolonging the pleasure
Marvelous insight into growing up in small town America in the 50/60's
Legal Thrillers, crime, fiction. humor and a bit of management sprinkled with some self improvement. All through Audible.
If it is funny, it is only for the American. It is not like his earlier books. Not a classic global book which everyone can enjoy.
I have enjoyed Bryson's other books but this one is an in-your-face reminder of how actually disgusting little boys can be - his loving and graphic descriptions of the things boys get up to had me almost sick; I had to stop listening. Some listeners may delight in remembering the sheer ickiness of childhood experience, but I didn't.
"for mr. Bryson"
Dear mr. Bryson, you wrote an xcellent story. but in my opinion you spoiled it by reading it by yourself. I think it would have been beneficial to leave it to the professionals. A voice of a young boy should have been present in this naration. And story has so many exciting moments, but unfortunately they have been told in a monotone flat pace. I liked the book, applouse to the writer! I did't like the narator, opps..
"Don't listen in public places as you'll laugh till you cry..."
The only person allowed to narrate Bill Bryson books should be Bill Bryson. Absolutely, weepingly hilarious, joyful, thought provoking, moving, uplifting and utterly original. God bless you Bill.
"Really engrossing and extremely well written. Thank you."
Read this crossing the Atlantic in 2006. Really annoyed my wife by chortling out loud. Good to hear it again, so well read. Remembered more of the jokes and stories. Cannot resist picking up all the dry switchroos. Again and again. Thanks Bill. You have an ear for the English subtleties.
"Not the best Bill Bryson book I've read"
it was the funniest of the Bill Bryson tales and I found his tone somewhat monotonous
first book I have read/heard from the author, although I have three others! will get to those now.
"A super story that took me back to being a child"
I really enjoyed this book (listened to once again on Audible). The narration was good (I can't criticise the occasional lack of emotion as Bill was reading his own book and recalling his own memories).
For a reader of my age, the memories that Bill recounts from his childhood are closer to the ones from my own childhood than they are to the modern world. I loved the simple lifestyle and the way that Bryson described his family - bringing to life the characters in his story and making me want to hear more. A good read.
"Good, funny book."
A good book, performed well. Funny and interesting. This book has made me consider reading / listening to other autobiography which I have never really thought about before .
"Bryson,as always is fantastic"
Growing up a decade later and in England not America my childhood memories differ in detail. However, many of the feelings are just the same. The sense of freedom, of life spread out endlessly in front of you. Long hot summer holidays (weren't they always hot when we were children?) parents who seemed not to worry too much. I often think my own children have missed out on those moments of freedom and exploration that we enjoyed as I watch them tirelessly twiddling on their game controllers. As always Bill Bryson weaves his wonderful wit and observations of life into his books and I for one enjoy them all the more when read by the author.
Riveting and so damned funny you'll probably throw up coffee through your nose. Buy it.
I have listened to a few of Bill Bryson's brilliantly written fictions but this is different. It is autobiographical. It is never dry or tedious, quite the opposite in fact. He has a charming, gentle wit which shines through and I found I was smiling the whole time.
Not all authors are good narrators, of their own or other's books but Bill has a wonderful style, a beautiful, easy to listen to voice, perfectly pitched and interesting. He has a marvellous memory and the gift of evoking images that come alive in your mind. This is true of all his writing I have experienced so far. I have never been to America although I grew up through the same years in England. He brought those years back to me despite the different environments with the added seasoning of colourful characters, insightful comments and the red and green cellophane glasses that made 3D comic books so exciting. I am sure many will enjoy hearing about the Tnunderbolt Kid's early years. Thank you Bill, your book is a delight and is treasured by me, at least.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.